Raising awareness about sexual assault, domestic violence

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- "We want them to take this with them, the fact that this is a problem that all of us need to be aware of," said ASU Counseling Center Director, Dr. Phil Hestand.

A problem Dr. Phil Hestand and ASU's Counseling Center is raising awareness about.

"The Department of Justice estimates that one in four college women will be sexually assaulted during their time in college,"said Dr. Hestand.

Dr. Hestand does say there is controversy about those numbers, some say it's too high. Regardless, he says one assault is one too many.  He adds a lot of assaults are not reported for a variety of reasons.

"Victims are frequently embarrassed.   They know they're going to have to confront their victimizer and they know they're going to have to go to court and testify," said Dr. Hestand.

Dr. Hestand says a series of events starting on Monday is aimed to raise awareness on campus and community wide about sexual assault and domestic violence.

"Anything that we can do that is preventative in nature is great and our philosophy's always been we don't want to sit behind a desk and wait for people to come to us.   We try to go out to them," said Dr. Hestand.

Providing interactive educational activities that Dr. Hestand says hopefully will open the lines of communication and shine the light on  very dark situations

"We hope that people will be talking about what can be done personally and as a group," said Dr. Hestand.

Interactive educational activities will be head each day (Monday through Friday) in the Natural State Lounge of the Student Union from 11:00 A.M-1:00 P.M.  There will be a candlelight vigil to honor victims and survivors of domestic abuse.  It starts at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday night.  It will be held in the Student Union Courtyard.

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